November 1st, 2007 | Published in Google Orkut
The orkut team continually tries to build new features based on your feedback -- features that help you better express yourself and communicate with friends. But no matter how hard we work, we can't build features fast enough for you. So to bring you as many new features as possible, today we're announcing that third-party developers will be able to build additional social experiences right into orkut. While we will be sure to maintain security, privacy and ease of use, opening up orkut to developers means that soon you will be able to add dynamic new applications that will make your orkut experience all the better.
The applications will use your current connections to help you better communicate with others and do fun new things in orkut. And they will be integrated just like regular orkut features, such as your scrapbook or testimonials. Application pages will look and feel like regular orkut pages, and you will be able to access them from the lefthand navigation bar after you add them. An example of an application might be a tool that lets you rate your favorite music or movies for your friends to see, or one that allows you to draw pictures on a friend's profile page.
You will have to opt-in to any application to use it and give it permission to access your profile. And as always, we will never sell your personal information and we have no intentions of making your contacts publicly available. You will be able to add or delete these applications any time you wish but even if you don't have a certain application, you will still be able to interact with it on your friends' profile pages if they install it. Of course, we are also going to monitor orkut for any inappropriate or malicious applications, and if you ever see one you think is offensive, you will be able to report it to us.
You won't see any changes in orkut immediately, but over the next several weeks developers will be playing in our "sandbox," a separate online site developers can use to test apps. Essentially, we're allowing developers to try out their apps to make sure they work properly before offering them to orkut users. Eventually, you'll be able to select applications you like and add them to your profiles, but this won't happen until later on. We also want to make it clear that once we make applications available, nothing will change in orkut by default -- you'll simply have the option to add your favorite applications to your profile (and delete them if you choose) and interact with friends in entirely new ways.